Who Are We Trusting with Guest’s Valuables?

By Alan Zajic Independent Security Consultant, AWZ Consulting | March 11, 2012

Co-authored by Derk J. Boss, CPP, CSP, CFE

The guests that rent rooms in our hotels have an expectation that the proprietor has done some form of due diligence in screening the employees who have access to their valued possessions left in a hotel room. It really does not matter to them that you may provide an in room safe, install expensive door hardware and have appropriate window stops if you have not taken the time to investigate the employees that you grant access to their personal and often treasured possessions.

The hospitality industry is sometimes fragile and susceptible to large revenue losses as a result of a single negative event such as theft of valuables of a guest who just happens to be with a large convention group. Word travels quickly with these groups and meeting planners can be quite adept at researching these issues when deciding on a hotel for their convention.

Conducting Background Checks

Although the law varies from state to state most jurisdictions hold that an employer can be held liable for not conducting a pre-employment background check if that investigation would have resulted in the knowledge that they were a potential risk. The courts have repeatedly taken the position that an employer should take reasonable steps to conduct pre-employment screening to include a background investigation.

The cost of conducting these investigations can be expensive especially in those labor markets where high turnover and a lack of qualified candidates create a challenge for the hotel proprietor. Many companies advertise primarily on the Internet that they can conduct a background check for as little as $12.95. Serious research should be conducted to determine what information you are requiring and the validity of that information. A background check that utilizes just database information is not a true and accurate investigation. The only true method for an accurate criminal check is actual court checks in the jurisdictions in and around where the perspective employee has resided.

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Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.